That’s me, on the hunt for my iPhone, lost somewhere at the Art Omi sculpture park in Ghent, NY. First of all, you must go see this place. It’s a fantastic visual experience on-foot and it’s dog-friendly. As you can see, Frida doggy was there too. I haven't been to many sculpture parks in my life but so far this one ranks at the top.
The fact that this place is so stimulating might be the reason I lost track of where I set my phone down.
Every sculpture is larger-than-life and so abstract.
I can't even explain this industrial pipes playground sculpture...
I don't think you're allowed to climb on the sculptures (esp this one)...but for the record, that's not me in the pic above. My friend shall remain unnamed. If you actually make it to Art Omi, plan to spend the whole day there as there's a lot to see and the walk is lengthy. Ok, so back to my point...
We ALL at some point lose our beloved phone. A stupid piece of technology we know we're addicted to but still can't fathom the level of our attachment until it's long gone. When I realized I did not have my iPhone on me, my friends and I had already left Art Omi and were finishing up lunch at an outdoor BBQ restaurant. Every bite of my fried chicken sandwich was so darn good until it hit me--where the heck is my phone?
Within a matter of minutes, I was going through disgusting bins of trash, hoping to find my iPhone clinging to a napkin for shelter from oozing packets of mustard and hot sauce. It wasn't there. Then I began to search the ground, my friends' cars, my friends' bags (just in case they mistook my phone for theirs), and then I went there...I busted out my worst stink-eye to nearby folks who'd passed our picnic table while we were eating...because maybe one of them had swiped my phone!
I was quickly downward spiraling into the kind of crazy lady who blames everyone and everything for her own mistake. I refused to believe my phone was gone. I refused to believe I had lost something that normally never leaves my grip or sight! Where in God's name was my F-ing phone????
We drove back to Art Omi but they had closed. I was so crazed I didn't care and against all rules re-entered the park to retrace my steps. Nada! It's virtually impossible to find a phone in a park THAT big. I went from desperation to quiet surrender. But before fully giving into my forced digital detox, I made sure to borrow my friend's phone and leave 10 messages on Art Omi's voicemail (just in case the first 9 weren't clear enough as to how bat shit crazy I was).
The park eventually found my phone and mailed it back to me, but it came snail mail so I went 5 long days without it. They were so nice about the whole thing and I repaid their kindness with a donation to their fund.
But let me reiterate this: 5 FULL DAYS WITHOUT MY PHONE!!!! Did I survive? BARELY! Instead of being glued to my phone, I watched movies, read books, took longer walks with Frida, enjoyed listening to music and allowed myself to experiment a bit more in the kitchen. It was awful! And yet so peaceful and liberating! My downward spiral of pouting over a lost phone soon felt more like an overdue vacation. Maybe this no-phone-thing isn't so bad.
I learned I can ACTUALLY live without my phone (for a short period of time) and throughout this process, I also learned what not to do in the future. Because although I did end up getting my phone returned, losing a mobile phone can be rather costly. Here's some easy advice to follow.
MY TIPS FOR PREVENTING A LOST PHONE:
- If you're going on an excursion, limit yourself to 1 bag or carry-all item. If you have too many spots or options where you can throw your phone into, you'll lose track of it and assume it's one of them when you've really deserted it elsewhere.
- Buy a cute mini-micro purse (AKA iphone purse because it doesn't fit much else) or an iPhone sling! They're lightweight, stylish and so easy to wear across one shoulder that you'll never remove it...which means your iPhone will always be secure inside. It's honestly like a little holder. Check out these styles (in order) from The Kooples, Gucci, Dagne Dover and then the cute litle mini crossbody bag I just bought from a lovely lady on Poshmark!
- Keep your iPhone's SOUND ON! If you've got in on vibrate, it makes it very hard to locate should you lose it. No one can hear a phone vibrating in a grassy field, OK?
- Adjust your iPhone setting's to have Find My iPhone TURNED ON.
- Turn your phone's Two Factor Identification OFF while traveling away from home. I know it's great for security but this will also be the death of you if you're separated from any of your other apple or tech devices, because if you try and log-in to your apple ID to find your phone from someone else's phone (like me, in upstate NY near Art Omi...far from home), the Two Factor ID system will not allow you to access your apple account. Instead it will be sending messages to your lost phone, asking to confirm access. And how does that solve anything? So essentially you get locked out of all your apple account's access (to iCloud too) if you keep Two Factor Identification on while you're traveling or away from home R(unless of course you carry an additional device on you like an iPad).
- Make sure your iCloud sync'd at all times. Your phone is just a vessel for all the information contained inside of it. The vessel can be replaced. The photos--not so much--unless you back that shit up!
BUT IF YOU DO LOSE YOUR PHONE:
- You're going to wish you had purchased insurance with your cell phone provider. So I'm just telling you this now, but pay the extra $$$ for it! I believe it includes accident coverage too. So even for a cracked screen, it's worth it. Although I'm not even sure screens crack as easily as they used to.
- Call apple support immediately (they're kind of useless) but they can usually walk you through MARKING YOUR PHONE AS LOST. This means that whoever finds your phone (if it's still juiced up) will see a message on a locked screen that says, "Call this # to return this phone to it's owner". Also it ensures that no one can break into your phone, look at all your pics and blackmail you. Chances are this would never happen but it really is my worst fear.
- Relax! Your iCloud is sync'd. Worse comes to worse, you just have to fork over money you hadn't planned on to replace the phone. Big deal. Things could be much worse. You could be digging through a BBQ trash bin with your bare hands during Covid....oh wait...I did that. So disgusting!
Lastly, temember to breathe. It's just a phone. This is what I told myself every night before I went to bed and had no idea what to do with that 10 minutes I normally used to browse TMZ on my iPhone before falling asleep. How pathetic is that? Break the cycle! Pick up a book! Count your blessings. Have a conversation with your dog! Stop being so obsessed with a rectangular robot that can't even find it's own way back home to you.
This is really all I have to say about this...Imma go take a break to look at social media now (on my phone). haha ;)